UN Speaks of a “Violation of Human Rights” as 400,000 Sailors Stranded at Sea for Months

UN Speaks of a "Violation of Human Rights" as 400,000 Sailors Stranded at Sea for Months. image: Pexels

UN Speaks of a “Violation of Human Rights” as 400,000 Sailors Stranded at Sea for Months.

Another consequence of the coronavirus pandemic is that there have been sailors stranded at sea for several months and to such an extent that the UN is speaking of a “violation of human rights”. Approximately 400,000 sailors of all nationalities are stranded on their ships all over the world due to closed ports and traffic restrictions- ship owners preferring to keep their staff on board, even if that means violating international law.

Some sailors, especially Filipinos and Panamanians, have been at sea for almost 20 months, which is completely illegal. In China, an Indian crew has been stranded in a port since last June, with a ban on getting off the boat. Jean-Philippe Chatail of the Federation of Merchant Navy Officers worries about the safety of the crews: “We will end up having a maritime disaster, one day or another. We have fatigue, mental fatigue, physical fatigue, stress, no news from families. We are going to end up in completely crazy situations, that’s why there are some who commit suicide, “laments Jean-Philippe Chatail.

Indeed, several people have taken the plunge in recent months. Faced with the urgency of the situation, the UN is calling for seafarers to be considered essential workers so that they are better protected, but only 45 countries have done so to date. “In Europe, we put the goods before the human, on the other hand, if it had not been the sailors  there would not have been toys for Christmas for the children, there would perhaps not be had to eat on the plates, there would perhaps be no more fuel for the cars. It is the economy first and the sailors we will see later “, said the Secretary-General.


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Written by

Tony Winterburn

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